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Construction set to begin on park's petting barn

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

Replacement of the Stanback Petting Barn at Dan Nicholas Park is on go.

The Rowan County Commissioners approved a contract with C.S. Bradshaw to build the new barn.

On March 19, a fire destroyed the barn and dozens of animals trapped in their cages. Investigators ruled the fire an arson. Despite posting of rewards, no arrests have been made.

Construction is expected to start immediately. The new barn will have more fire-resistant materials and will have a security system with cameras linked to the county’s E-911 system.

During the discussion Thursday night, Commissioner Jim Sides upstaged County Manager Bill Cowan by congratulating Don Bringle on being the new county parks and recreation director.

Cowan hadn’t publicly made the announcement.

Bringle, who has been interim director since the retirement of Jim Foltz, becomes the second parks and recreation director in the county’s history.

Bringle, a former textile company official, has been manager of Dan Nicholas Park since May 2004. He is also mayor of China Grove.

Bringle’s focus was on the petting barn and getting the project going.

After the project came in well over budget in October, the project was revamped, reducing the overall size from 40-by-72 feet to 40-by-60 feet.

In another change to reduce costs, only the shell of the barn was bid. Other parts of the project, such as plumbing, electrical and concrete work, will be contracted separately or done by county employees.

C.S. Bradshaw submitted the low bid of $191,138.

The total cost is now expected to run around $266,000 and be within budget.

Chairman Arnold Chamberlain thanked those who have made donations, from school groups to Bill and Nancy Stanback who have pledged to donate up to $100,000 to ensure the barn is built.

Going through the list of donations, Chamberlain cited a donation from John Beard for $10,000 and $2,000 from the Rowan Fair Association.

School groups, businesses and individuals raised almost $21,000.

The county received $171,696 from insurance.

The original barn cost an estimated $25,000 to build.

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